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  1. #1
    Administrator Rossignol's Avatar
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    Introducing a new Mr Ads, Alistair - ads feedback in here plz

    Hey all,

    Our new advertising fellow, Alistair, has signed up to the forum to say hi and is keen to receive feedback on advertising generally. I've created this thread to keep that in one place, and so that he knows where to look for your comments.

    cheers!
    -jim

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus QuantaCat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rossignol View Post
    Hey all,

    Our new advertising fellow, Alistair, has signed up to the forum to say hi and is keen to receive feedback on advertising generally. I've created this thread to keep that in one place, and so that he knows where to look for your comments.

    cheers!
    -jim
    Weird, this very thread keeps logging me out. I had to use "Reply to" button.
    - Tom De Roeck.

    verse publications & The Shopkeeper, an interactive short.

    "Quantacat's name is still recognised even if he watches on with detached eyes like Peter Molyneux over a cube in 3D space, staring at it with tears in his eyes, softly whispering... Someday they'll get it."

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Grizzly's Avatar
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    Same problem here 0_o

    WE MUST DISSENT

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus QuantaCat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grizzly View Post
    Same problem here 0_o

    WE MUST DISSENT
    Ill clean it up when the thing gets fixed. in the mean time, welcome ali!
    - Tom De Roeck.

    verse publications & The Shopkeeper, an interactive short.

    "Quantacat's name is still recognised even if he watches on with detached eyes like Peter Molyneux over a cube in 3D space, staring at it with tears in his eyes, softly whispering... Someday they'll get it."

  5. #5

    Hello world

    Quote Originally Posted by QuantaCat View Post
    Ill clean it up when the thing gets fixed. in the mean time, welcome ali!
    Thanks!

    Hi everyone!

    I've been looking through the forums for a while now on my personal account, and so thought it would be a good idea to introduce myself. I look after non-remnant ad. space for RPS.

    I'd like to hear any feedback good or bad. Ideas for how we could do things better are always welcome, and I'll do my best to answer any questions you have. Either post on this thread or email me (alistair[at]ourURL).

    If you see anything that you don't think should be on our site, then let me know I'll make sure it gets blocked as soon as I can.


    A bit about me:
    It should go without saying - but perhaps it doesn't - that I love games. My first foray in to the wilds of gaming was with strategies and city builders (I get all starry eyed about Zeus: Master of Olympus), and since then I've branched out to try and find games that quench my thirst for galactic domination and general shenanigans.


    It's my job to try and fill the ad. space on RPS. I talk to indie devs. to find out whether they want to advertise. I don't talk to people that are selling things I don't think you'd like to see, or that I wouldn't want to see. Don't expect that you'll ever see McDonalds advertising on the Takeover spot.

    Similarly, we're not going to start doing pop-ups or anything like that. Advertising is necessary for the site, but these click-baity sort of in-your-face ads. do more harm than good to a brand, methinks.

    The space that I don't manage to sell is then used as remnant space, which brings in less money, but ensures that we get a constant stream of revenue.

    We can't hand-pick the remnant ads. or featured articles that you see, because they're provided by external companies, but we do try hard to ensure there's nothing virus-ey or offensive on there. Again, if you do see something that doesn't fit with RPS just let me know.

    The reason I wanted to say hi, I guess, is to show you that I'm interested in hearing what you have to say... so.. yeh.. Hi!

  6. #6
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus QuantaCat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlifromRPS View Post

    The reason I wanted to say hi, I guess, is to show you that I'm interested in hearing what you have to say... so.. yeh.. Hi!
    Right, well theres already a discussion over here: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/foru...han-this-right

    Im sure some of it is still current, we could continue the discussion here. I just know for me that Ive actively added specific websites to my adfilter, like taboola and outbrain, since these usually are quite crap no matter what.
    - Tom De Roeck.

    verse publications & The Shopkeeper, an interactive short.

    "Quantacat's name is still recognised even if he watches on with detached eyes like Peter Molyneux over a cube in 3D space, staring at it with tears in his eyes, softly whispering... Someday they'll get it."

  7. #7
    Lesser Hivemind Node Stellar Duck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuantaCat View Post
    Right, well theres already a discussion over here: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/foru...han-this-right

    Im sure some of it is still current, we could continue the discussion here. I just know for me that Ive actively added specific websites to my adfilter, like taboola and outbrain, since these usually are quite crap no matter what.

    Speaking of Outbrain, it's bad enough on my PC but at least I can block it there now that I'm a subscriber and not feel too guilty but on my phone it's just insane. After the article I get all the ads as a long list with a huge ass picture to go with the titles until I finally reach the comment section. It's mind blowing in its awfulness.

    Can Outbrain be dragged out back and shot or at the very least, be brought to not explode on my phone?
    Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory since 1982.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlifromRPS View Post
    Similarly, we're not going to start doing pop-ups or anything like that. Advertising is necessary for the site, but these click-baity sort of in-your-face ads. do more harm than good to a brand, methinks.
    Then why are these ads still running?



    I understand that people need to make a living from running this website, but the Taboola ads are some of the worst I've ever seen.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by strange headache View Post
    Then why are these ads still running?



    I understand that people need to make a living from running this website, but the Taboola ads are some of the worst I've ever seen.
    I guess that is the "remnant space of a solar empire", although I get the sense that the Taboola/Outbrain stuff is separate from the other ads. I've grown kind of used to Scarlett sticking her chest out on my RPS...

    ..but seriously, they are very annoying. PARTICULARLY ON PHONES where they take up a large amount of space and really slow down my wheezing old phone. Is it possible to disable them or replace them with text ads or something on mobile devices?

    My other 2 requests to Mr Alistair would be:
    - try to keep the overall page weight to something mildly reasonable. I assume the big pop-under background ads with video are most profitable, but they are sometimes 4-5Mb in size. On older PCs or mobile devices that can be killer. RPS regularly crashes my work browser, and I think that's 50% due to the ads and 50% due to all the connections to social media buttons.

    - test the site on older devices, particularly crappier mobiles. You don't have to do super extensive testing, but at least open it up on an older smartphone and an older PC from time to time.

    Oh, and try and sign up for that new google scheme where people can pay 2-3 bucks a month and not get remnant ads.
    Oh, and do ads get turned off for subscribers? At the very least the remnant ads should do.
    Oh, and I imagine it's not worth worrying about from your end, but I thought you might like to know that you get some VERY odd remnant ads when the reader is in Japan.

    (PS/ Thread logs me out too, unless replying)

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by QuantaCat View Post
    Right, well theres already a discussion over here: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/foru...han-this-right
    Yeh I was following this, and it's one of the main reasons I thought it a good idea to introduce myself and give the community a way to contact us.
    -
    Quote Originally Posted by Stellar Duck View Post
    After the article I get all the ads as a long list...
    (Re. Taboola on phones)
    I'm looking in to this today, and I'll get back to you.
    -
    Quote Originally Posted by strange headache View Post
    ...why are these ads still running?
    I was talking about the sort of ads. that pop-out in front of the screen, or slide out, or force you to interact with them in some way. Taboola has only recently gone up and, as I'll go in to below, it'll get better as the filter becomes more attuned to RPS's readership.

    Quote Originally Posted by BillButNotBen View Post
    ... I get the sense that the Taboola/Outbrain stuff is separate from the other ads...
    BillButNotBen's right. Taboola provides content in a different way to normal remnants, they're sponsored articles provided by Taboola from third party sites.

    It's a necessary evil right now, but two things stand to improve the content.
    Firstly, Taboola's algorithm learns dynamically from what's worked on the site - i.e. what readers seem to respond to best - and so if all goes to plan we'll see an improvement in the relevance of the content.
    Secondly, we're working hard to blacklist bad sites/URLs, so make sure you let me know if you see something offensive and it won't feature on the site again. The more screenshots/URLs of bad articles we get, the quicker we'll be able to refine the content and make it more agreeable.

    -
    Quote Originally Posted by BillButNotBen View Post
    ... try to keep the overall page weight to something mildly reasonable...
    We do try to keep the page weight down. I can understand that on some systems that there can be performance issues, but there's not masses that we can do beyond trying to work with the developers/publishers to ensure that the the file sizes are kept as small as possible. We always ask that the skins are no larger than 500kb.

    Quote Originally Posted by BillButNotBen View Post
    ... try and sign up for that new google scheme where people can pay 2-3 bucks a month and not get remnant ads...
    I shall do some research on this to find out whether it could work for us.

    Quote Originally Posted by BillButNotBen View Post
    ...do ads get turned off for subscribers? At the very least the remnant ads should do. ...
    Currently they don't, but I'm now investigating whether this may be an option.

    Quote Originally Posted by BillButNotBen View Post
    ...you get some VERY odd remnant ads when the reader is in Japan.
    I hadn't heard of this, no. The same applies for their ads. with regards to taking them down. Without being able to see the offending ads. I can't do anything to prevent them. If you or anyone reading this could forward me the URLs then I'll be able to ensure they're blocked in future.


    Thank you for these comments so far. To let you know, when I say I'm looking in to something, I'm not trying to fob you off. Be patient with me, and I'll come back with an answer either way.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlifromRPS View Post
    BillButNotBen's right. Taboola provides content in a different way to normal remnants, they're sponsored articles provided by Taboola from third party sites. It's a necessary evil right now...
    The Taboola ads are borderline sexist and represent everything that's wrong about the clickbaity internet journalism/press/media. Both of these practices have been harshly criticized by RPS, to simply dismiss them as "necessary evil" seems a bit lazy to me. When game developers come up with these excuses they are more often then not harshly criticized.

    Based on the selection of Taboola ads presented and their clickbaity business model I don't see these ads improving any time soon.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by strange headache View Post
    The Taboola ads are borderline sexist and represent everything that's wrong about the clickbaity internet journalism/press/media. Both of these practices have been harshly criticized by RPS, to simply dismiss them as "necessary evil" seems a bit lazy to me. When game developers come up with these excuses they are more often then not harshly criticized.
    I absolutely agree that some of the content is unsuitable for RPS (or maybe the world). I'm blocking these articles whenever I see them, and I am very grateful to receive help from the community to make this process more effective.

    It is a necessary evil in terms of monetization, which allows us to pay our writers. As the situation stands, this is proving the most effective way for us to help cover our expenses whilst keeping RPS free and open to everyone for the long term. Of course, I'm always considering new or better ways to do this, and we've considered the options mentioned on the thread we don't deserve this.

    A fair point, and I think it is because it is indeed a pretty lazy response. This is why I feel it important to have a dialogue about these things, and I hope I've covered it more satisfactorily above.

    Quote Originally Posted by strange headache View Post
    ... I don't see these ads improving any time soon.
    It's not been up for long, and so I guess the lazy response would be 'time will tell'. The algorithms which dictate what's presented on the site will become better at choosing relevant content as we block certain articles, and refine the filtering system. Sure, the articles are never going to represent the same quality as what we read on RPS, but that's true of much of the interwebs.

  13. #13
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    I previously complained about Taboola ads in the "we deserve better" thread in November. http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/foru...l=1#post628449

    That was when I started adblocking them. Sadly, with AdblockPlus on mobile (try it with Firefox on Android, it's awesome), you cannot create custom filters and must rely on filter subscriptions. This means that the Taboola bullshit still gets through, and it's even worse on mobile - http://imgur.com/iC2OqAk , which is why I started a thread on the AdblockPlus forums to include Taboola on the default EasyList adblocking subscrition. https://adblockplus.org/forum/viewto...38bc7e26eb4c20

  14. #14
    Lesser Hivemind Node palindrome's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwyjibo View Post
    I previously complained about Taboola ads in the "we deserve better" thread in November. http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/foru...l=1#post628449

    That was when I started adblocking them. Sadly, with AdblockPlus on mobile (try it with Firefox on Android, it's awesome), you cannot create custom filters and must rely on filter subscriptions. This means that the Taboola bullshit still gets through, and it's even worse on mobile - http://imgur.com/iC2OqAk , which is why I started a thread on the AdblockPlus forums to include Taboola on the default EasyList adblocking subscrition. https://adblockplus.org/forum/viewto...38bc7e26eb4c20
    Adblock Edge kills it.

  15. #15
    Vector Jams O'Donnell's Avatar
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    Hello,

    Taboola ads should now be less gigantic on mobile.

    -Jams

  16. #16
    Network Hub FurryLippedSquid's Avatar
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    How often do I have to flag a dating ad as inappropriate before I never see one again? I feel like King Canute at the moment.

    Edit: Seems better, now.
    Last edited by FurryLippedSquid; 10-01-2015 at 03:26 PM.

  17. #17
    Anyone else having a problem with the site redirecting them to a spam page today?

    Edit: This is the (dodgy, according to my computer) culprit, I can get back to the site just fine if I press the back button but it seems to be doing it for any page on RPS I go onto (aside from the forum)
    Last edited by Christmas duck; 09-01-2015 at 06:38 PM.

  18. #18
    Yep, me too. Same redirect, though the first few times chrome wasn't blocking it so now I'm sanitizing my PC with E-Dettol.

  19. #19
    Network Hub Stense's Avatar
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    I've had it yes, a red page hilariously warning me a phishing attack and that I should totes click on their page to solve it.
    I have a new book out. Fancy some cynical fantasy comedy? Check it out:
    http://amzn.to/1oVrKlx

    Read my other stuff: http://tessstenson.blogspot.co.uk/
    I also contribute to http://www.coffeebreakgaming.co.uk/

  20. #20
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    For the past few days, I've been getting a redirect, but to a different site, consumernews247 dot com, and its stupid news-formatted ads.

    It's getting kinda annoying. It only happens when I load/reload the front page and then wait a few seconds, but doesn't happen every time.

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